It is a particularly puritanical streak in the American psyche that causes us to declare, each January 1st, a series of ambitious and grimly austere resolutions. Designed as if for the sole purpose of erasing every ounce of pleasure from daily life, these odious promises are, as we all know, doomed from conception. By the third week in January, as the rain batters the windows and the grey sludge of winter rises up from the pavement, the weaker among us crumble…usually into a bar of chocolate or bottle of tinto. It is a fruitless endeavor, serving only to relieve the tedium of a dull month with a touch of drama and the appearance of earnest endeavor.
There is a bright side to the prospect of these resolutions, however, and that is the pre-January binge. Since we fully intend to become paragons of virtue come January, we might as well live it up until then. In this spirit, here are some of my favorite foods for a pre-resolution indulgence. Make sure your sins count before you enter the confessional.
Cacao Sampaka dark chocolate with Ibiza sea salt
Based in Barcelona, where their original, gleaming retail store is located, Cacao Sampaka is one of the finest chocolate makers today. Their beans are carefully sourced, processed, and coaxed into a range of gorgeous confections. A customer favorite is this bar of silky dark chocolate delicately flecked Ibiza sea salt crystals. It is a marvel, beating every other salted chocolate I have tried (and trust me, these are many).
Fermin Ibérico de Bellota smoked pancetta
As if pancetta isn’t enough of a gorgeous, lardy indulgence, Spain trumps Italy with this heavenly version made with Ibérico de Bellota pork. Streaks of crisp, delicate pork shatter and dissolve on the tongue, lingering with sweet smoky depth. Fried up with a couple eggs it makes an unbeatable start to the day. Or tuck it into a bun with a round of rosy tomato and sprig of greenery for a BLT like no other.
Chocolate con churros
After a night on the town, Spanish young’uns often revive themselves in the pre-dawn hours with a visit to their favorite churrería. This is a café specializing in the preparation of churros con chocolate, a delicious dish consisting of strands of crispy fried pastry served with a mug of dark, rich hot chocolate so thick you could almost stand a spoon straight up in it. Dip the pastry in to chocolate and devour. We have all the ingredients you need to set up a churrería in your own kitchen: drinking chocolate, churros mix, and even churros makers to form perfect pastries!